Born in Havana on December 21, 1938. He studied music in the Conservatory Amadeo Roldan, in Havana, and later made his postgraduate education in composition at the Federico Chopin School in Warsaw, under the guidance of professors Witold Rudzinski and Andrzej Dobrolowski. He has a degree in education from the Escuela Normal para Maestros de La Habana and a Ph.D. in Pedagogy from the University of Havana.
Besides his work as a teacher, he has been constantly composing. Among his most important compositions are: String quartet (1967); Conjuro for soprano and orchestra (1968); Ire a Santiago for mixed chorus (1969); Devenir for symphonic orchestra (1969); Tres impertinencias for chamber ensemble (1971); Extraplan for symphonic orchestra; Ajiaco (1990); Tierra de sol, cielo y tierra for chamber ensemble (1993); Glosas del tiempo recobrado for piano, violin, cello and percussion (1994); Yugo y estrella , for symphonic orchestra, soprano, baritone and chorus (1995); Concierto de Cojimar, for guitar and symphonic orchestra (1998); Non divisi for strings orchestra (1999); Cuatro Poemas de Nicolás Guillén, for symphonic orchestra, soprano and chorus (2001). Twelve Caribbean Studies (2002), Cuento Sonoro (2004), Colhuacan (2004). He has also composed some electro acoustic pieces like: Palms (1992); Space Period (1993), Lauds of the Road (1999), The Shades don't Abandon (2001).
He has also composed music for ballets, dances, documentaries, films and cartoons. He is member of UNEAC (The National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists) since 1962 and he has held different positions in its executive board. In 1990, he was elected president of UNEAC’s Music Section, position he held until 1992.
In 1985, he was awarded the first prize with the piece Concierto por la Paz, for saxophone and symphonic orchestra, at a Composition National Contest, sponsored by the Cuban Ministry of Culture. In 1989, he received the National Award for his Creative Work, the highest honor given by UNEAC.
Valera has received many awards in Cuba and abroad, among them, the Félix Varela Medal, the Alejo Carpentier Medal, the National Culture Award, given by the Council of the State. Award for his contribution to Education in Cuba, given by the Ministry of Higher Education; the Jose Maria Heredia Medal, given by the Santiago de Cuba province, the Karol Szymanowski Medal, given by the Polish Ministry of Art and Culture, the Basse Terre Medal in Guadeloupe, and many others.